Evolution Water Services Limited sold to Phenna Group

BCMS has advised Evolution Water Services Limited (Evolution), a leading UK provider of compliance-driven water hygiene and water treatment services to the built environment, on the sale of the business to Phenna Group, a group dedicated to investing in independent Testing, Inspection, Certification and Compliance (TICC) companies.

“We valued and relied on BCMS’ support and expert advice throughout, and their hands-on partnership approach as our advisor was crucial” – Adam Beattie and Paul McKenna, Evolution

Formed in 1999 and accredited to ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001, Evolution provides a range of specialist services including water treatment, water hygiene, consultancy, training and indoor air quality services, designed to help clients achieve compliance and manage risks in highly regulated sectors. Headquartered in Hurst, Berkshire, in the Thames Valley, the business has steadily grown to over 80 employees and serves over 400 customers across multiple different end markets, including FM, government, healthcare, hospitality, industrial and education. 96% of revenue is secured from either revenue under annual or multi-year contract or revenue from add-ons to contracted work.

Headquartered in Nottingham, Phenna Group delivers services to a global diversified client base, in sectors including infrastructure, niche industrials, compliance and certifications, and food and life sciences. Phenna Group was founded on the principles of building genuine connections and relationships with TICC-sector businesses looking to grow. The acquisition of Evolution Water is the group’s seventh acquisition of 2023 and augments Phenna Group’s rapidly developing built environment division with specialist complementary services.

Deal perspectives

Adam Beattie and Paul McKenna, Directors of Evolution, commented: “We are excited to partner with Phenna Group. Since our first meeting with Paul Barry and David Harrison, they have acted with high integrity, ensuring the process has been smooth and commercially focused. We are convinced that Phenna will provide the level of support we need to deliver our future growth plans. We have an excellent team in Evolution and were keen to find the right partner, with a culture that would allow them to flourish and we believe we have done just that. We look forward to working with the broader Phenna Group team.”

“BCMS’ competitive process gave us choice – and in Phenna Group they found us the right partner and the very best outcome”

Commenting on BCMS’ role in the transaction, Adam Beattie and Paul McKenna added: “This is transformative move for Evolution, and we’d like to thank the BCMS team for leading the transaction on our behalf. We valued and relied on their support and expert advice throughout the preparation and sale phases, and their hands-on partnership approach as our advisor was crucial. Particularly pleasing was the amount of interest BCMS generated from potential acquirers both in UK and Europe. This created a genuinely competitive process. BCMS gave us choice – and in Phenna Group, they undoubtedly found us the right partner and, we believe, the very best outcome for the business and its staff.”

Paul Barry, Group CEO of Phenna Group, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Adam and Paul have decided to partner with us. From our early engagements, it was obvious that they would be an excellent fit within our rapidly growing built environment division and be highly complementary to our existing suite of services. They have an excellent track record and share our philosophy of providing excellent service and customers with ‘peace of mind’. This deal augments our rapidly growing built environment division and I look forward to welcoming their experienced team into our Group and helping to deliver their growth plans.”

An active sector, experiencing consolidation

Dujon Bosman, Associate Director, BCMS, added: “We are privileged to have been able to advise Paul and Adam on their sale of Evolution to Phenna Group. Their professionalism and experience in the industry have allowed them to build a fantastic business with a consistent growth rate in a very active sector for Mergers & Acquisitions. Our experience with Phenna Group as a buyer was seamless and their swift decision making, deal experience and hands-on approach was a significant contributor to getting the deal over the line.

“BCMS has a particularly strong track record leading transactions in the Testing, Inspection and Certification (TICC) sector. We continue to see consolidation in the industry, and a real opportunity for great businesses to partner together to add more value to the broadening customer base. As regulatory requirements enhance, it becomes more apparent that businesses like Evolution will continue to be sought after and attract interest from the wider market. BCMS has the expertise to help find these owner-managed businesses a right home at the right time.”

Alongside corporate finance advice from BCMS, Evolution received advice from Freeths and Eacotts on the transaction.


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